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Thread: Lancaster ND642 - GA Saunders F/S Nav

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Lancaster ND642 - GA Saunders F/S Nav

    This is my first post and to introduce myself and subject:- I have (as I describe..) a passing interest in the first and second wars and this along with my motorcycle means that I excuse myself and tour (with buddies, not necessarily interested in the history) european sites of interest (to me) once or twice a year.

    During planning of our recent trip, one of the party mentioned that his uncle was lost in WW2 - I did some searching via the CWG site and found the grave which we then included in our route. We found the grave of GA Saunders 1413460 F/S Nav in Berlin and, laid a plaque and moving message on behalf of his still surviving brother. This was the first time any of the family had found the grave.

    More recently I've googled the details (hence finding this forum) and during a 'lucky' visit to Hay-on Wye found a book (The Bomber Battle for Berlin by John Searby) which included details of the raid (24/25 March 1944) during which the lancaster and crew were lost - this gave me the serial number of the plane ND642, the next part of the jigsaw.

    The family have asked (and provided written authorisation) for me to contact MoD / RAF and any other sources to obtain as much detail as possible about GA Saunders and I've suggested that, if still available, they claim and receive any service medals.

    I've noted Greg's interest and dropped him a PM

    It seems the plane was a MkIII, shot down 30km north of Torgau, had 58 hours on it and took of from Grimsby.

    So, my request:-

    is there an an approach or processes I should follow (I've got the application forms for service records and medals - one defines the other)?

    any other sources of info, pictures in particular, more details of the raid ('night of the winds')?

    any way of researching who shot the lancaster down (a nightfighter), was it on the way there or on the way back?

    Thanks for your patience and in anticipation of any help


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Zwolle ,the Netherlands
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Hi Jeff,

    I don't know for sure which info you have on the raid but that night it was another raid with hugh losses for Bomber Command.72 aircraft were lost.44 Lancasters and 28 Halifaxes (from Bomber Command War Diaries).
    From BCL-Chorley-the ND642 took off 18.57 Grimsby.Shot down by a nightfighter and crashed 8 km N of the town of Eilenburg and in the vicinity of Gruna-Laussig.Except from Sgt.Harris all were Welshmen.
    I looked in Theo Boitens Nachtjagd War Diaries for the credited victories that night but could not find a match between a nightfighter and the ND642.

    Hope this helps


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